Before entering to determine the meaning of the term spirituality, it is fundamental to make clear the etymological origin of it. In particular, we can know that it emanates from Latin, and more precisely it is the result of the sum of these three Latin components:
Spirituality is the condition and nature of spiritual. This adjective (religious) refers to the belonging or relative to the spirit. The notion of mind, on the other hand, is linked to a non-corporeal entity, to the rational soul, to the virtue that encourages the body to act or to the supernatural gift that God grants to certain creatures.
For example: “Spirituality is something significant in my life,” “Modern life tends to neglect spirituality, but we must remember that we can not live only thinking about physical and material needs,” “I did not meet another person of spirituality so rich as Mother Mabel. “
The concept of spirituality, therefore, can refer to the link between the human being and God or divinity. The religion is often the link that allows developing this relationship. It can be said that priests, pastors, and various gurus, therefore, speak of spirituality when dealing with religious matters.
In addition to all of this, we should emphasize that, very frequently, we resort to talking about what has been called Spirituality of the Camino de Santiago. And it is considered that this pilgrimage, which is made with the clear objective of reaching Santiago de Compostela and put at the feet of the apostle James, allows many people who do not only analyze themselves and get to know each other better but also to strengthen bonds with God.
In particular, it is considered that this way is a way to acquire new values and to improve in aspects such as silence, being more reflective, learning to live with little, sociability or the need to listen and help others in everything you need.
It is not necessary, in any case, to adhere to a specific religion or to follow a religious foundation, (for example, the Catholic Church ) to develop spirituality. The link between man and God can be personal and intimate, without external manifestations or rituals: “I do not believe in a single and Almighty God, but I base my spirituality on the conviction about the existence of energies of other dimensions that influence the Earth.”
Precisely about this religious sphere, there is a platform that has been launched on the Internet and is called “Digital Spirituality.” On this website every day a different doctrine is offered, and you can meet some of the best literary works on the subject.
In philosophy, the idea of spirituality is understood from the opposition between matter and spirit. Religiosity can be associated with a search for the meaning of life that transcends the mundane.…
The Christian recognizes himself in the person of Christ, and he believes, because it is of the order of faith and not of the evidence, that this other who sometimes speaks in him, who suggests things to him it is Christ or the Spirit of Christ.
This is the one of which some contemplatives tell us that he takes all the space and that we must leave him all the area?
We try to give him the most space. But even the great mystics like John of the Cross will tell you that existence is not enough to provide him with all the area. This statement may seem very abstract, but it takes two specific forms that make it possible to mark the specificity of the Christian spiritual experience. First, it’s an experience that is personalizing. Christ is a person, God wanted to be a human person, and he wants every man to be a human person. The dogma of the Incarnation invites us to consider that the spiritual experience must not be depersonalizing. This is what makes a difference with some Asian spiritualities, to speak very roughly. The Mystic experience of ancient pagan Greece and Eastern spiritualities are rather depersonalizing. It is a question of allowing oneself to be stripped of oneself, even to be dissolved in the big everything.
What is not the case of Christian spirituality? Is not it because Christ is in us that we are no longer there?
In the Christian experience, we first experience that someone is in us and that someone invites me to be myself and reveals to myself. Paul Claudel, when he tries to say the few words that were printed in him at the moment of his thunderbolt in Notre-Dame de Paris, means “God is here, God is someone, it’s a father, he said to me, “You are my child.” Saint Paul hears at the moment of his conversion: “I am Jesus whom you persecute.” It’s someone who talks to someone. This is what makes me believe the singularity of Christian mysticism, a person-to-person relationship, which is personalizing and in which speech plays a vital role. Christians who have had this experience felt like someone was talking to them, and that made them speak in their turn. They needed to talk about it. If only to verify that what they experienced was not wholly aberrant.
So should we advise those who are doing this experiment to talk about it?
Yes, it’s a communication experience. She makes talk. At the time of Pentecost, these men who were locked on themselves go out and start talking to the people who were there while the spiritual experience in the Greek world invites to silence.
This is a significant difference: one makes one speak, the other invites silence.
And one is personalizing, while the other is depersonalizing. I speak of course very schematically and grossly.
Many people lead a spiritual life but refuse to place it under the sign of faith in God, and especially the God of Christians. And that is entirely understood! Spiritual growth is not exclusive to Christians or believers. The Bible says, “The Spirit has been poured out on all flesh.” Every human being has a dimension in his life, of which he is or is not conscious, which can be described as spiritual, that is, open to the Holy Spirit. Some will never listen to this voice of the Spirit in them; others will lead a spiritual life without God … The best-known example, the most contemporary, is that of André Comte-Sponville who wrote L the spirit of atheism, for spirituality without God. It seems to reflect his own experience.
It’s having the feeling, the conviction, that one is inhabited by someone other than oneself. Or at least that my daily self, conscious, is limited, and that there is in me more profound than me. And psychoanalysis has indeed confirmed that there is in me something other than what I believe. “I am another,” says Rimbaud, and this other manifests itself primarily in dreams. We wake up sometimes in the morning wondering where we went to get all this. And all religions have realized that the deep self, the reality of who I am, largely escapes me, and science will probably never be able to exhaust that depth. It is this particular dimension of existence that manifests itself in dreams, but also in happiness, in the joy that one can feel while listening to music, a painting … This feeling, there is no need to be a Christian to test it. There is a spiritual life for everyone.
But then, what distinguishes an atheistic spiritual life from a Christian spiritual life?
Let’s take the example of André Comte-Sponville: what makes the difference of a Christian? I believe that the Christian spiritual experience, to express itself and to live, considers that the matrix, the model of his spiritual life, his mold, is the experience of Christ. It is the person of Christ as a man who provides his matrix for the Christian religious experience.
Do you mean to say that I who is other and who we all have in ourselves, is Christ?
Yes. When St. Paul says: “It is no longer I who live, it is Christ who lives in me,” is it a simple formula, or should we take it seriously? The Christian spiritual, who is called John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila or Ignatius Loyola, make this statement seriously. And says to himself that Christ lives in him since his baptism and that he must let him live in him.